Are these spooky specters fact or fiction?
It’s a common tale. Girl falls in love with historic turn-of-the-century home she found on Instagram. Girl buys historic home in hopes of fulfilling all her renovation dreams. Restoring crown moldings and hardwoods and light fixtures to their former glory. Then said girl gets a feeling one night—you know what I’m talking about—the feeling that gives you sudden chills that send the hairs on your arm standing straight up. That feeling you’re not alone. And wait, was that a second reflection in the mirror?!? When this keeps happening she finds herself asking the age-old question, “Are ghosts really real? Could my house be haunted?” So what’s really happening? Could there be such a thing as ghosts out there, or could there be a scientific way of explaining away these spooky specters that are keeping our ravishing renovator up at night? While you’re in a creepy mindset, take time to investigate if vampires are real, read about these spooky urban legends in America, and even set off on a ghost tour near you (if you dare!).
are ghosts real
Believers Gonna Believe
If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you already believe in visitors from the other side, as nearly half of Americans believe in ghosts, according to a recent poll. And unlike questioning if vampires or werewolves are real, questioning whether or not ghosts or spirits exist draws on a lot of people’s personal experience with unexplained phenomena over centuries. But what are we actually talking about when we talk about ghosts? While there are many different types of experiences from floating shoes to glowing orbs, these are the most common spirits people say they have experienced.
Plain ol’ Dead People: This is your classic dead person with unfinished business. Typically they don’t know they are dead and are on a mission to figure out how or why they are dead (ex. the movie Ghost), or, like Jacob Marley, make up for wrong-doings in their lifetime. Sometimes these ghosts, like those in Harry Potter, are around forever, while some manage to transition to the beyond through good works or an enlightenment of some kind.
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“Psychic Residue”: This is a person but usually an event that permeates a space but does not affect or interact with the people around them. An example might be that a death, horrible accident, or event occurred in a particular home or place and it is “haunted” by that specific event and the people who were a part of it.
Crisis Apparition: This is something that happens very soon after a person’s death, and the ghost is aware of its own death. They are usually coming to a loved one to bring a message, closure, or comfort.
Sounds plausible right? Well, with so many movies, reality tv shows, campfire stories, and a whole tourist industry behind it, ghosts have not only become a normal part of popular culture, but a lucrative business as a well. So it’s often hard to tell fact from fiction nowadays. Where can we find explanations for all the spooky goings on? Can science help?
What’s Science Got To Do With It?
While science can neither confirm nor deny the existence of ghosts, it can speak to a lot of the key psychological and physical factors that could be affecting you when you have an experience with something that is ghost-like or things to watch for when you get hooked on your next ghost hunting reality show. Some have suggested that the next time you see ghost-watchers with their electro-magnetic devices, roaming around suburban homes trying to find evidences of ghostly “energy,” rather than calling the priest for an exorcist, you might want to call an electrician. Those readings they pick up on a lot of the shows you see are evidence that the electrical wiring in the home needs work.
Some may tell you, “It’s all in your head.” But there may be some truth to that statement when it comes to believing in ghosts and the experiences surrounding them. Going back to our girl with her haunted reno, here are a few of the psychological explanations for what may be happening in her house:
Avoiding Scary Situations: The dark basement, the scary part of the yard, or forest behind our house. We all have places or situations that make us feel a little fearful or wary. Being in a big new house with unknown nooks and crannies and sounds is bound to make anyone of us uneasy. So it’s easier for us to put the weight of our fears on the idea of a place being haunted and maybe avoid someplace altogether rather than face what scares us.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Sometimes we are just in the room at the exact moment the wind blows over something in our house and it produces a loud crash and another thing in our house that was unstable happens to crash at the same time. You could blame this on a naughty specter or it could be that you happened to just be in an incredible place at a very unique moment.
Feeling Alone: Taking on the renovations of a big house alone can make anyone feel overwhelmed and lonely, but add onto that the fact that you may be in a new town and that it may be rural. Loneliness can account for our minds filling with lots of anxiety and fear and with that, every sound and creak and light change is amplified and could be the sign of something ghostly. When really, maybe, you just need to invite a trusted and safe friend over for a porch hang.
Sound and Vibrations: Some houses have high-pitched sounds and vibrations that are almost undetectable but can do damage on our psyches. Find yourself strangely irritable and sensitive even thought you’ve already eaten and exercised and taken time for self-care? That strange “vibe” you sense in your space could just be the sound or vibration in your environment that needs to be shut off or changed.
Fungus-umongus: In older homes, it’s a common problem to find mold growing in places you never thought possible. Nooks and crannies can have all types of spores, and living with undetected mold in your home has been known to cause all kinds of health problems as well as in some cases of messing with people’s minds. That hallucination you see could very well be your house’s mold haunting you!
Ultimately though, when it comes down to it, even if the rationalizations make sense, sometimes you just want to believe. It helps you feel like you’re living on the edge or living in a world that has more layers to it than just the one you see in front of you. So wherever you land on this issue…let’s hope that only ghost you meet this Halloween season is the good kind…like Casper. Oh, and our Reno-girl—well, she would rather face her fears than give up her built-ins, so she’s staying for the long-haul. Ghost or not.
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